If anything is to enliven joy within us it is passion.
We read the infused passion within the apostle Paul as he proclaims the gospel of God:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith...”
— Romans 1:16 (NRSV)
We can imagine not only infused passion, but infused joy also, because of the fullness of commitment the apostle makes in running headlong toward his goal—the salvation, in Jesus Christ’s name, of all who are willing in his path.
“Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
— Philippians 3:12 (NRSV)
The beauty in the work of passion is there isn’t any end to it—neither passion nor work to be done in furthering the Kingdom. We are blessed to join this work. We are blessed to have a role. The outworking of our passion is for others to have life, and life abundant, in the name of Jesus. This is not just an exercise in evangelism; it is very much an exercise of spiritual growth to the increasing of discernment toward the growing of wisdom—true godly wisdom, for there is no other kind.
If passion is what we live for, we are not ashamed of the gospel.
We are called to live by faith—those who are right in God’s sight live by faith (Romans 1:17)—and this is manifest by passion, which is indicated by energy and joy.
Being Passionate and Compassionate
God wants us connected to our passions. He wants us to be passionate and compassionate. The Lord wants us to be passionate for our work within the Kingdom. Lord wants us to be compassionate for the people within the Kingdom.
When we work toward achieving both of these—the knowledge and outworking of our passions and engaging compassionately—God blesses us with the confirmation of our purpose.
Our purpose is twofold within the Kingdom: 1) passion for our work, and 2) compassion for people. Often times both of these are merged and it’s even better when they are. When we understand this twofold purpose and it becomes real in our lives, our lives find a new gear, and the characterisation is delight.
Passion produces joy, and it is God’s will for all our lives that we experience the joys of passion. In a Kingdom sense, passion is important regarding purpose in two ways: 1) to have passion in our work, and 2) to be compassionate with people. When we have these two we have the keys to a life of joy.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.